MCAC Men’s Basketball  – 2021-22 Season Preview

After a year hiatus due to the COVID-19, all three MCAC men’s basketball teams return to the court to compete for a title and will play an exclusive Canadian schedule for the 2021-22 season.

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers

Head coach: Scott Martin, entering 2nd year as the head coach

Keys for the team: 

Key Additions: Ezra Leano, and Jesse Fedak, which gives the team some size to compete with the big boys

Key Returnee: Isaiah Cole, MCAC all-star and team’s top scorer.  Seth McKenzie, one of the top three point shooters in the league.

Key Losses: The team will miss the point guard play of Kalvin Mendez.

Number of total team members to start the season: 14 players on roster

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2019 MCAC regular season record and placing: 6-8; T-6th place in regular season in NIAC standings; Lost in the semi-finals to PUC

Last MCAC championship: 2016-17

Total MCAC championships (since 1999-2000): 4 (2003-04, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2016-17)

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • How is team/coach dealing with transition back into play after a year of not playing at this level.  “After a long layoff due to COVOD-19, the team looks forward to its first league game on November 5. We also look forward to welcoming St. Boniface into the league and playing Providence in their new facility. We expect to be a tough, exciting, competitive team.”

Providence University College (PUC) Pilots

Head coach: Pierre Dubreuil, entering 4th year as the head coach

Keys for the team: 

Key Additions: Riley Paul (Center), Kevin Martinez (Point Guard)

Key Returnee: Bryant Smith (Point Guard), Joshua Armstrong (Shooting Guard), Waedon Dueck (Power Forward)

Key Losses: none provided

Number of total team members to start the season: 15 players on roster

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2019 MCAC regular season record and placing: 6-8; T-6th place in regular season in NIAC standings; Lost in the championship final to RRC

Last MCAC championship: 2002-03

Total MCAC championships (since 1999-2000): 3 (2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03)

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • How is team/coach dealing with transition back into play after a year of not playing at this level.  “We are very excited to be back. Most of our guys have been working out and training throughout Covid. The transition back to playing 5- on-5 was a bit rough, but after two months of training and some pre-season games, we are ready.”
  • What games does the coach look forward to most.  “Nov. 12 for our Home Opener vs. USB. Not only will it be our first time playing USB, but it will also be our first official game on our new home floor in Niverville.”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “More than a game, playing the same teams multiple time present a challenge as you learn and grow after each game. No matter the results, we will need to adapt and evolve week after week to succeed against the same competition.”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “Having only two opponents in the league, it’s difficult to know what to expect. I obviously hope for good competition all season long.”
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “Providence is hosting the championship this year. Every year we play to win it, but it is even more important to be ready in February!”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why.  Bryant Smith and Joshua Armstrong – “They will be leading our guards on both ends of the court as they did in 2019. But we also have some new addition to our forwards. U of W transfer Riley Paul and returner Waedon Dueck will give a hard time to the opposite teams in the paint. Our rotation has gone deeper this year, so I have high hopes for some of our new recruits as well.” 
  • Who is your team captains this year.  Waedon Dueck (Point Forward), Bryant Smith (Point Guard)
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  “It’s been a long time without basketball, and it’s good to be back. We already played a few pre-season games, and we are right where we wanted to be for now. Week after week, the team is showing me signs of improvement. Our energy and combativeness are going to be one of our strengths all season long. We just don’t give up anything. I’m very excited for the season to start.”

Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) Les Rouges

Head coach: Christian Mouné, entering 1st year as the head coach

Keys for the team: 

Key Additions: New team

Number of total team members to start the season: 14 players on roster

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2019 MCAC regular season record and placing: N/A – as new team to MCAC

Last MCAC championship: N/A – as new team to MCAC

Total MCAC championships (since 2000-01): N/A – as new team to MCAC

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • How is team/coach dealing with transition back into play after a year of not playing at this level.  “We are trying to ease the players back into playing after this very long hiatus. If we add to that the fact that they are transitioning from High School basketball to college basketball, we have to be careful and patient.”
  • What games does the coach look forward to most.  “All the games as it is a brand new experience for all of us.”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “All the games.”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “We expect hard games and a really big learning curve for the players.”
  • What are the challenges they expect with the season.  “Just like the women’s team, getting the players used to playing at a higher level and helping them managing the balance between their students lives and college sports.”
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “Growth and players getting used to more demands and higher competition. Getting better every game.”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why.  “All the players are equally important in the start of a program like this. They are the program and we are excited to have them.”
  • Who is your team captains this year.  No captains yet.
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  “We are excited to be part of the MCAC league, helping basketball growing even more in the province and bringing more of the French community in basketball. Huge challenger but we are looking forward to it.”